The trouble usually starts for me as a dull headache, sore throat, swollen glands and sudden sniffles. In the past, my uh oh would segue to a heart-sinking feeling and I’d brace myself for a period of physical discomfort and mental fog, since life proceeds, and we cold-sufferers often must, too.
These days I take those symptoms as a sign to slow right on down, at least mentally, which is the crucial part, setting the stage for other extraordinary self-care choices. And I get the tomato tea a-brewin’. Mine has various variations. The critical elements are plenty of potent, good-health hero garlic and some form of heat. Here’s today’s version.
Teresa’s Immuno-Turbo Tomato Tea
2 cups or a little more of tomato juice
(substitute V8, tomato paste reconstituted with fresh water, whatever you have on hand)
3 cloves of garlic, smashed and sliced
freshly squeezed juice of one to two limes, to taste
A generous splash of jalapeno brine
(substitute sliced or minced pickled or fresh jalapeno or other peppers, a generous squeeze of Sriracha, whatever you have on hand and are into; make it to taste and then some; you want that clear-your-sinuses sensation)
coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a heaping tablespoon each of chopped cilantro and green onion (optional)
Throw everything into a pot except the fresh herbs, bring it to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer it covered for 20 minutes. Then pour half of the 2-serving concoction into your favorite mug, stir in the fresh herbs (they remind me of a fantastic bowl of room-service chicken soup I had once while sick in Acapulco) and enjoy it, with a spoon to snag all the chewable bits. Repeat as needed, keeping in mind that your body needs your health-promoting, stress-reducing choices. Don’t just drive it around like a used car.
And tell me: what’s your kill-the-spring-cold strategy?